When we opened the Google Indonesia office back in 2012, we had a clear vision: to develop products and programs that were specifically helpful for Indonesians. Looking back, it’s been incredible to see the momentum the team has built over the years — and that original vision remains just as important today.
As we mark the 10th anniversary of Google in Indonesia today, I took the opportunity to explore our archives. Here are our 10 top moments from the past decade.
- Building product features for Indonesians
Over the years, many of our products and features have been developed with Indonesians in mind, such as our Google Maps two-wheel feature to help Indonesian motorcyclists. We’ve also localized features to make them helpful to Indonesians. That includes incorporating some of Indonesia’s hundreds of languages into Google Translate, including Javanese — the second-most-spoken language with 83 million native speakers.
Our Google Maps Two-Wheel feature launched in 2018
2. Training two million Indonesians with digital skills
With internet adoption growing rapidly in Indonesia, it’s a priority for Google to help ensure the next wave of entrepreneurs, businesses, and individuals are well-equipped with digital skills. Even before the opening of our office, we'd already launched several programs with local partners, including Bisnis Lokal Go Online in 2012, to help small and medium-sized businesses with their online presence. We've gone on to launch programs like Gapura Digital and Women Will, which have collectively trained more than 2 million Indonesians, including over 800,000 women entrepreneurs.
Attendees from our free Gapura Digital and WomenWill workshops from 2019
3. Supporting over 200,000 Indonesian mobile developers
A fan of tahu bulat (fried tofu balls), Bandung-based developer Own Games ID created a fun game with the same name — it topped the Play Store rankings and has over 10 million downloads to date. Hit games and educational apps coming out of Indonesia have inspired us in our efforts to train over 200,000 developers since 2016. We continue to find ways to mentor startups and nurture the developer community through programs like Google for Startups, contributing to growth of the region's largest digital economy.
The people behind Own Games ID, with YouTube creator Gogogoy
4. Bringing Borobudur to the world through Street View
Seven years ago, our Street View operators strapped on the trekker and set out to capture 360-degree imagery of all 2,500 square meters of the world’s largest and oldest Buddhist temple: Borobudur in Magelang. From the heights of the Borobudur temple to the depths of Raja Ampat, anyone in the world can explore and enjoy Indonesia’s landmarks and natural beauty — all with a simple click, no matter where they are.
Street View operators capturing imagery at Borobudur
5. Protecting our ocean with technology
Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, but there’s more work to do to ensure our heritage is protected for future generations. We’ve seen innovative organizations like the Gringgo Foundation, backed by funding support from Google.org, develop tools to address plastic waste pollution. We also worked with the former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti, who used the technology behind Google Earth’s Global Fishing Watch to address illegal fishing in sovereign waters.
Global Fishing Watch, the first global view of large scale commercial fishing activity over time
6. Celebrating Indonesia’s rich history and culture on our platforms
We launched our first Indonesian Doodle in 2012, celebrating the 67th anniversary of our nation’s independence. Since then, our doodles have spotlighted significant local moments and celebrated historic Indonesian figures like Ki Hajar Dewantara and Roehana Koeddoes. Beyond Doodles, we wanted to introduce Indonesia’s rich culture to the world. My favorite moments were when we shared our batik tradition and Indonesian spices through Google Arts and Culture.
Our first Doodle showcasing the traditions during Indonesia’s independence
7. Empowering the next generation
We believe every Indonesian should have access to digital education and training opportunities, and we offer training tailored to people’s skill levels and goals. We introduced Google Career Certificates last year to get more people trained in job-ready skills. We also introduced Bangkit, an intensive six-month training program in partnership with local technology companies and leading universities, to equip more Indonesians with in-demand skills for the tech industry. Now entering its third year, the program has trained almost 2,500 people like Syifa Nur Aini, who became an IT manager after completing the program. We look forward to graduating another 3,000 students later this year.
After graduating from Bangkit, Syifa Nur Aini started her role as an IT Manager at Trapo Indonesia
8. Supporting journalism and the news industry
We work closely with Indonesian news publishers of all sizes, providing tools, technology and programs to help ensure everyone has access to quality information. We've partnered with publishers to help them build their business models, empower newsrooms through technology, and learn the latest tools and reporting skills. Since 2019, we’ve trained more than 23,000 journalists locally, including in-depth workshops on data journalism and fact-checking, while funding the fact-checking mission of the Cek Fakta network.
Local reporters attending a workshop run by the GNI Indonesia Training Network
9. Reaching over 100 million people on YouTube monthly
Since YouTube’s launch in Indonesia in 2012, we have seen incredible highs in Indonesia. If there’s one thing that's certain, it’s that Indonesia is full of talented individuals waiting to be discovered. Indonesian creators are redefining what it means to be artists, entertainers, and key opinion leaders. Take Weird Genius, a local band collaborating with well-known musicians worldwide and sharing their music with Indonesia and the world through YouTube. It’s humbling to see the role YouTube plays in Indonesians’ lives. For some viewers, YouTube creators make them feel part of a wider community. For others, it's about allowing them to dive deeper into their passion and brush up on new skills. Today, YouTube is reaching more than 100 million people every month in Indonesia, and the numbers continue to grow.
10. It’s always the people: Dozens of Googlers serving Indonesia today
One of my biggest joys working at Google is the people. I'm proud to see how our office has grown from just four employees to the dozens of Googlers working on impactful projects in Indonesia today.
Indonesia team during Google’s 21st global birthday celebration in the office
Together with the people, communities and businesses we support, we've accomplished a lot over the past 10 years. I’m looking forward to seeing what more we can contribute to Indonesia’s progress over the decade ahead. Happy anniversary, Google Indonesia!
In a year like no other, Indonesian entrepreneurs have shown grit and determination to keep their businesses running for the communities that rely on them. They’ve also shown great creativity in adapting new tools and technologies—like Ida, the owner of a traditional cake business in Lombok who saw business dry up when local schools were forced to close. After taking a Women Will course, Ida used Google My Business to connect with her customers, promote her range of cakes throughout Indonesia, and ultimately increase her income by 60 percent. Now she’s working with other women entrepreneurs in her community to help them make the most of technology in their own businesses.
At today’s virtual Google for Indonesia, we celebrated this entrepreneurial spirit in adversity— and shared new initiatives to help the businesses and workers most in need. We also deepened our commitment to building a strong, inclusive digital economy for all Indonesians, reflecting the theme of this year’s event: bangkit dan maju sama-sama (rise and move forward together).
Helping businesses and workers most in need
For many Indonesian business owners, the first priority continues to be funding their operations through the downturn, so they can rebuild. Together with Kiva and local financial service providers, we’ve created a $10 million fund to extend low-interest loans to the small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19—in particular, those from underserved communities.
To support the fight against youth unemployment, Google.org will make a $1 million grant to Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia), helping launch a program that will provide training and job matching assistance for over 5,000 young people.
And as workers of all ages look to find work and improve their skills, we’ll continue to expand our Kormo Jobs app with roles in sectors like logistics and essential services, and add new tools to meet job-seekers’ needs. The app already provides remote work listings and the option to interview remotely. From here, we’re adding AI-enabled learning to help job-seekers practise English, and partnering with ARKADEMI &QuBisa to offer additional certified courses, including foundational IT training and advice on mastering recruitment processes.
Preparing for a strong digital future
Technology has helped Indonesia weather COVID-19, and it will have an even bigger role in our future beyond the pandemic. The eConomy SEA 2020 report, released last week, showsIndonesians adopting new digital services faster than ever, while research from AlphaBeta finds that a digitally-skilled workforce could add more than $300 billion to Indonesia’s GDP by 2030.
Realizing that potential means equipping more Indonesians with digital knowledge and confidence, and we’re committed to playing our part. This year, we’ve expanded and adapted our training initiatives across different areas of technology—hand in hand with the Indonesian government and our partners in business and the nonprofit sector.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 200,000 Indonesian small businesses have completed online Grow with Google skills courses, taking the total number to 1.7 million since 2015. Google Cloud has held 150,000 training labs to help Indonesians get cloud-related skills, complementing the opening of the Jakarta cloud region earlier this year. And YouTube’s Akademi Edukreator partnership with Kok Bisa has trained more than 1,000 teachers, young professionals, students and content creators to produce educational video content — with more in-depth training planned as we keep building the “educreator” community.
Today, we also announced an expansion of Bangkit: a collaboration between the Indonesian government, Google and Indonesia’s biggest technology companies, created to encourage the next generation of technology talent.
Already, we’re seeing graduates from the first Bangkit cohort—many of them young women—go on to jobs throughout the private sector, pursuing big ambitions for careers at the forefront of technology. Next year, up to 3,000 Bangkit students will have the chance to pursue courses across six different tracks, from machine learning and Android development to the fundamentals of cloud.
With the energy and ideas of the next generation, and the solidarity we saw shine through at Google for Indonesia, I have no doubt that Indonesians will rise above the challenges of 2020, and move forward to a stronger future together.
As a teacher, Nur Ernawati believes in the value of lifelong learning—including for herself. Ernawati was one of 140 Indonesian teachers who signed up for a Bebras Indonesia course on computational thinking: a way of learning that stresses critical thinking and problem-solving rather than learning by rote. She’s since passed those lessons on to more than 400 of her students. Now she wants to see the program rolled out across Indonesia—and we’re ready to help make it happen.
At an event in Jakarta today, we announced a $1 million Google.org grant that that will enable Bebras—a global education nonprofit—to launch Gerakan Pandai: a new program designed to train another 22,000 Indonesian teachers in computational thinking over the next two years.
Why is this so important? With 64 million students, Indonesia has the fourth-largest education system in the world. But to give those students the best possible future, we need to make sure they have the skills and knowledge to handle changes in technology and solve the challenges they’re likely to face in the workplace. Bebras’ programs train teachers to help students break problems into smaller parts, assess data, prioritise information, and create solutions to complex issues: skills that are relevant to every career path, not just in the technology industry.
So far, teachers trained by Bebras have taught computational thinking to more than 5,000 students—including 14-year old Nasha Rainy, one of Nur Ernawati’s students. ”Initially, I found the class very challenging, but Mrs. Erna was always there to support and inspire me to do my best,” Nasha said. “This experience has increased my self-confidence.”
By 2023, with Google.org’s support, Bebras-trained teachers will have reached two million more students across 22 locations in Indonesia, reaching underprivileged communities which might not have had these kinds of opportunities in the past.
Not only will Gerakan Pandai help young Indonesians shape their future with confidence, it will also contribute to closing Indonesia’s digital skills gap—one of our country’s most urgent priorities for the 2020s.
The Google.org grant was one of several steps we announced today, at the launch of our Grow with Google skills program in Indonesia, as we work to help millions more people succeed in Indonesia’s $40 billion internet economy.
Our skills training programs range from helping entrepreneurs use digital tools to supporting Indonesia’s most promising developers with courses in artificial intelligence and machine learning. But it all starts with education: what we teach our children and how well we prepare them for the opportunities that technology creates. With the support of Bebras—and brilliant teachers like Nur Ernawati—I’m confident the next generation will be ready to lead Indonesia forward.
Since joining Google just over a year ago, I’ve heard so many inspirational stories about the ways Indonesians are using the internet to improve their lives and others’. Entrepreneurs like Sherly Santa—who took her durian business online—have helped make Indonesia’s internet economy the largest in Southeast Asia. And a new generation of young Indonesians is working on big ideas for the future—like the Developer Student Club that built a flood warning app for villages in Bojonegoro.
The challenge for Indonesia isn’t a lack of ability or ambition. It’s giving more Indonesians the digital skills to take advantage of the opportunities technology creates, something that’s a priority for us and our Indonesian partners. Training programs like Gapura Digital and Women Will have helped 1.4 million Indonesians learn digital basics and business tools. But we also want to help Indonesians gain more advanced software skills, which are in high demand from Indonesian technology companies.
Today, at the fourth Google for Indonesia event, we announced a new initiative aimed at meeting that need. Bangkit (meaning “rise up” in Indonesian) is an intensive, six-month training program for developers run in partnership with Gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka and leading Indonesian universities in Jakarta, Bandung, Denpasar and Yogyakarta. The program will be free, but selective—open to cohorts of 300 of the most talented developers across the country, with workshops starting in January 2020. The goal is to teach developers both technical skills in machine learning, as well as more general “soft skills” that can help them advance their career in the technology sector. Our hope is that Bangkit helps expand the pool of talent in Indonesia, making it easier for even smaller startups to hire people with the skills they need—and supporting Indonesia's digital economy as it continues to grow.
Bangkit isn't the only way we're helping Indonesians get the most out of the internet. At Google for Indonesia we also announced a partnership with Telkom to expand Google Station, so it reaches more Indonesians with a network of fast, free and secure Wi-Fi points. We’ve launched Kormo, a career app that connects job seekers and employers to entry-level roles. And we’re deepening our commitment to protecting Indonesians online, announcing Stay Safer for Google Maps—a feature that lets people share their location with friends and family, and alerts them when their driver deviates from their chosen route by more than 500 meters.
With 152 million Indonesians online—and more joining them every day—there’s great potential for Indonesia to shape its future with new technologies, growing digital industries and jobs. It starts with expanding skills and opportunities more widely across the country—and we’re committed to playing our part.